School System Flexes Muscle

Seated Monday night on the front row of a courtroom packed with supporters are Superintendent Jeremy Johnson, his wife Ashley, and Finance Officer Denise Altman.

BAYBORO – The Pamlico County Board of Commissioners encountered a huge turnout of public commentators for Monday night’s meeting (which included all four school principals: Savannah Alexander of the Primary; Sharon Carter-Moore of the Elementary; Wade Reifsnyder of the Middle; and, Rebecca Lansche of the High School), along with the coaches of various school athletic teams; Supt. Jeremy Johnson; and, Board of Education chairman John Prescott.

In fact, over the past two years, the gorilla in the county has indeed become the Pamlico School System. This is an evolution of sorts, propelled in large part by a MASSIVE $67 million state grant – money that is already being spent on a new, state-of-the art grades 6 thru 12 building. The school system’s 200-plus employees also make it Pamlico County’s largest employer. And, the Fiscal Year 2024-25 annual appropriation from county taxpayers to the school system (1,147 students) totals a cool $5 million – not an insignificant chunk of change squeezed from an entire county budget of just $25.7 million.

John Prescott, Chairman of the Pamlico County Board of Education, gives a quick TV interview after the meeting.

With just a downward tweak here and there, the school system got what it requested! And, in his successful budget balancing act, give credit to County Manager Tim Buck for keeping the ad valorem tax rate unchanged. However, the county’s ‘fund balance’ (savings) takes a major $2 million hit. And, avid recyclers will be sad to learn of that program’s drastic cutbacks.